Why You Can't Complete Online Surveys

06-20 21:40

If you have had any experience taking online surveys, no doubt you’ve experienced a situation where you were unable to complete a survey. Whether at the beginning, middle, or even at the very end of a survey, you might have encountered a dreaded message that looks something like this:

Sorry, this survey is now closed.

Why is it that you can’t always complete online surveys and that they can suddenly ‘close’ when you’re in the middle of completing them? What’s the reasoning behind this all-too-common problem?

Technical errors

Virtually nothing online works 100% perfectly 100% of the time, and online surveys are no different. Whether a survey panel is experiencing technical problems with their website, their surveys software, or a particular survey, technical issues do happen.

If you are unlucky enough to be completing a survey when these technical errors occur, unfortunately, there’s not much you can do other than try to either re-take survey, or contact the survey provider to explain your difficulties and ask for at least partial compensation.

The itself survey has closed

This is also an unlucky situation where as you were completing the online survey, enough responses were collected and the researcher either manually 'closed' the survey, or the survey software automatically closed it off. There is typically no warning or notification that a survey is close to being filled when you start completing it (although a few select sites do share this information with their survey takers), so it can be difficult to determine whether the survey you just clicked on is 98% full or 5% full.

Your demographic bucket has been filled

Similar to the above, if enough people in the same demographic bucket that the researchers were looking for have submitted enough responses, you might get booted out of a survey, seemingly out of nowhere.

For instance, if a study is looking for an even, 50-50 split of males and females, and as a female, you get disqualified, the survey may still be available to men.

You’ve been disqualified

Disqualifications suck, especially with poorly designed surveys that ask qualification questions at the END of a survey, rather than at the beginning (this is a big no-no in market research and wastes everyone’s time). But even a well designed survey will ask a few qualifying questions.